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Monday 15 January – Blue Monday


10 January 2017

For immediate release

Monday 15 January - Blue Monday

Members of the Grenfell NHS Outreach Team will be reminding everyone that ‘small talk saves lives' on Blue Monday. They will be distributing stickers to remind people worried about others that there are things everyone can do to look out for each other.

It's based on the excellent 90 second film produced by The Samaritans about people (in this case on the Tube) thinking of ending their lives; it powerfully shows how ‘small talk saves lives' by disrupting the thinking of those at risk. Watching over people you're worried about can provide vital time to raise the alarm by calling the NHS.

You can view the film here:

Jim O'Donnell, Manager of the Grenfell Outreach team, said, "Blue Monday is a time when we think of the people feeling sad, depressed or overwhelmed after the Christmas holidays and going into a new year. This is especially true in the Grenfell area. That's why we provide support and help for people who need it in a great many ways, and would encourage individuals or families to contact us if you're worried about yourself or others; we also follow up stories we hear about, just to check something is not being missed and to see if we need to do more."

"The value of friendships, social and family support cannot be overstated, so if you notice someone you know becoming isolated or more worried than usual, or they are saying worrying things, talk with them - small talk saves lives."

"The Community has already faced an enormous amount of hurt and pain; but it has also responded with compassion for each other, through the volunteers, the community groups, the churches and faith organisations, and gatherings everywhere - this is the real spirit of Grenfell."

"If you are concerned about someone, NHS help is available. You can contact your GP, or call us on 0800 0234650, 24 hours a day, or talk with our staff at The Curve, the night service at the Methodist Church or if you see the Outreach Team in your local area (usually wearing green sweatshirts) stop them and have a word."

Dr John Green, CNWL's Chief Psychologist and Clinical Director for Grenfell NHS, said, "Experience tells us that many people's bleakest times actually come in the Spring, but it's entirely understandable that people are concerned and need to know that help is available if they, or someone else, needs it. Journey of Hope is a really great initiative about building resilience in people facing very challenging circumstances; but it's not an emergency service. The NHS provides that, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

"But we would like to ask people in the community to help us to help anyone in need of our services. Please look out for each other, for family, friends and neighbours; and if you're worried about someone talk to them; as the Samaritans say, ‘small talk saves lives' and a kind word can often make all the difference. If you need to contact us on behalf of yourself or someone else then we are there."

You should seek help if you notice the following in you or someone you know (watching out for family members, neighbours and friends):

• Changes in behaviour

• Withdrawal

• Appearing preoccupied or worried

• Changes in sleep patterns

• Saying worrying things

Anyone who is concerned about themselves or about another person should call for help on 0800 0234 650.

We're also working with Journey of Hope, are building up a network of people trained in resilience, and as extra eyes and ears to help the community.

Editors notes:

Mental health reporting

Journalists looking for information on the most appropriate ways of reporting emotional crises or mental health issues - including suicide - may like to refer to the guidelines by the Samaritans which are supported by most media organisations and professional bodies.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Stephenson House, 75 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PL
Tel: 020 3214 5756 e-mail: